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Why Soak Contact Lenses & How Long To Soak in Solution?

Brand new contact lenses are usually packaged in an isotonic sterile solution that is made of NaCl, Hydrogen peroxide, buffering agents, and other chemicals that are strong enough to kill bacteria. Its main purpose is to keep contact lenses clean and sterile while remaining soft. The solution also makes contact lenses a bit more comfortable when it’s worn. So, the million-dollar question is –  why soak contact lenses that are brand new before their first usage? How long should contacts soak in the solution? Is this even necessary? Keep calm because your questions will be answered right here.


Estimated reading time: 4 minutes


How Long to Soak Before the First Use? Why Soak Contact Lenses Anyway?

How Long to Soak Before the First Use? Why Soak Contact Lenses Anyway?

Most experts will recommend soaking brand new contact lenses for at least six to eight hours in a multipurpose solution or disinfectant before the first use.

The main reason why users must soak their contact lenses right after removing them from their packaging is to effectively neutralize them. This is quite a crucial step. Simply because it helps prevent an eye infection or any other allergy. 

Here is a tip – make it a habit to soak all your new contact lenses overnight in the right lens solution, before the first usage. This way, it will remain soft and moist. This will also give the lens solution the opportunity to prepare the lenses before it comes in contact with your eyes.

What Will Happen If You Wear Contact Lenses Directly Out of the Packaging?

The isotonic solution that brand new contact lenses are stored in is not safe for your eyes. Wearing contact lenses directly after taking them out of the vials or blisters will most likely sting your eyes, which will cause you to tear up. Hence, this is why soaking brand new contact lens is important.

If your eyes are sensitive and are very likely to experience eye irritation, most opticians will recommend rinsing and soaking your brand new contact lens in additional saline solution. This way, chances of eye irritation will less likely to occur.



Which Disinfectant Should You Use to Soak Contact Lens in?

Although there are several options available in the market, we would recommend Renu By Bausch & Lomb for soaking contact lenses. With this solution, you can not only soak, but rinse, disinfect, and store contact lenses safely as well. You could also try Alcon Opti-free Pure Moist Multipurpose Disinfecting solution. This range provides optimum comfort when wearing your contact lenses for long hours, throughout the day.

However, do not confuse a multi-purpose solution with eye lubricant eye drops. A multi-purpose solution is not a substitute or replacement for that.

Saline Solution Does Not Disinfect Contact Lenses

The saline solution does not disinfect contact lenses. That is just the way it is. Do bear in mind that it works to only rinse circle contact lenses and is not capable of disinfecting them. It only works best after cleaning and disinfecting the lenses with another care system. 

Hydrogen peroxide-based systems suggest rinsing contact lenses with saline before inserting into the eyes”. So, do take note of this little piece of information nugget. Wink.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

In Conclusion

We will end this post with a short reminder – before you start using your brand new lenses, make sure you soak the contact lens for at least 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.

In terms of contact lens solution, note that multi-purpose solution is not a substitute product for moisturizing eye drops. Its fundamental role is to clean and sterilize contact lenses when it is in use for a long duration. If you experience eye irritation or infection for whichever solution you choose to use, quickly visit an eye doctor before the situation worsens.  



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